The Connection between Leg               Pain and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia's defining characteristic is widespread pain which in many instances includes leg pain. Leg pain and Fibromyalgia may vary from person to person, but can present as as sharp pain, a dull ache, deep pain, or more of an aching sensation. If you're suffering from this type of pain, there is hope. Here's what you should know about treating and managing it.

What does fibromyalgia leg pain feel like?

If you are suffering from fibromyalgia leg pain, you may experience throbbing, shooting, achy, or burning sensations in your legs. Often you will feel the pain at your fibro tender points, particularly the inside of each knee and the hip just behind your hipbone. This pain can radiate from those spots, and also accompanied by numbness, stiffness, or tingling. This pain is often also related to restless leg syndrome. If you're suffering from pain in your legs because of fibromyalgia, there are treatments that can help you find relief.

What causes leg pain in Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia leg pain develop in the tendons, muscles, or ligaments surrounding the joints. Although the pain manifests in these areas, the sensations are amplified by problems in pain processing by the central nervous system. Other symptoms causing leg pain related to fibromyalgia include restless leg syndrome and numbness or tingling in the extremities.

Restless leg syndrome and fibromyalgia

As stufy published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people with fibromyalgia are more likely to develop restless leg syndrome, a neurological disorder characterised by throbbing or other difficult-to-manage sensations that create an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. The sensations typically worsen at night and dissipate by morning. They can occur in one or both legs. By moving their legs, people with restless leg syndrome can find relief from their fibromyalgia leg pain and other unpleasant feelings.

Most treatments of restless leg syndrome are directed at alleviating the symptoms. Lifestyle changes that may alleviate restless leg syndrome related to fibromyalgia may include:

. Limiting caffiene, tobacco, and alcohol intake

. Taking supplements such as iron, magnesium, and folate

. Exercise

. Adopting a regular pattern of sleep

. Heating pads

Neuropathic fibromyalgia leg pain

Neuropathy cause tingling or pain in the extremities, including the feet. Some patients with fibromyalgia may actually have a related disorder known as small-fibre polyneuropathy ( SFPN ). Researchers have found 46% of patients with fibromyalgia has SFPN, which is a type of peripheral neuropathy that is sometimes treatable.

SFPN causes widespread pain similar to fibromyalgia but has tests that can offer a definitive diagnosis, which is not the case with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia tender points in the legs

People with fibromyalgia frequently develop tender pain points, also known as trigger points that are found in the legs. Each person has nine pairs of points on the body that may result in pain when pressed. On the leg, tender points nay develop on the inside of each knee and on the hip just behind the hip bone. Leg pain related to fibromyalgia may result when trigger points cause pain the area. 

Leg pain and fibromyalgia treatment

Medicines recommended for fibromyalgia may include painkillers and NSAIDs. However, long-term use od painkillers may cause physical side effects such as flid retention, high blood pressure, and problems with the stomach, kidney, or heart.

Opioids are somtime prescribed, but there isn't any evidence that the drugs mitigate leg pain related to fibromyalgia. Additionally, opioids carry a high risk of addiction and abuse. Other options may include muscle relaxants if you experience muscle spasms.

Interventional treatments

If you're experiencing severe pain and at-home treatments haven't worked talk to your doctor. They'll likely start by prescribing physiotherapy. This can help correct imbalances in your muscles and stretch them. 

For some, physio may be too painful. I thiese situations combining physio with epidural steroid injections can help you get the therapy you need to correct the underlying issue, while managing your pain during your sessions.

Other options include:

. TENS unit therapy

. Radiofrequency ablation

. Biofeedback therapy